Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh my goodness! I have learned so much this week, but it's been hard. Last Wednesday night was rough. We tanked our lesson. P-day's are the worst. We don't study and then when class rolls around it's so hard to stay focused. Our teacher had a little intervention with us and it helped so much! We talked a lot about the things we need to work on individually and I have seen a huge difference in the way our lessons go now! On Saturday we learned to teach with power and did a cool exercise where we just taught five minute lessons to some of the teachers here. My companion decided to let there be awkward pauses forcing me to speak. It was so good. I had to rely so much on my Heavenly Father, but I opened my mouth and words and questions came out. They are really bad, but they can at least understand what I am saying to them.

We were just told last night that the next 3 devotionals are going to be broadcast.....which means that I will have been here for FOUR general authorities. WHAT! Isn't that so cool? I will also be in the choir for all of them. We aren't supposed to know this, but... Elder Nelson is coming to speak to us tomorrow for Thanksgiving!! How cool? I am so excited to learn from him. Rumor has it President Monson will be making an appearance in the next month! I hope we will be here for that!

Today we went up to main campus and ate breakfast. HOLY COW. Their cafeteria is sooo much better than ours. It's huge. We were in heaven last night at dinner (we ate up there before choir practice.)! Tomorrow is going to be so exciting! We have a big breakfast in the morning, choir practice, devotional, a service activity, THANKSGIVING lunch, another service activity for those affected by the typhoon, and then a movie night. It will be a jammed packed day, but that is so good. I am sad that I can't be there with y'all for Thanksgiving, but I know this will be one I won't forget.

I am so thankful for all of the packages and letters I have received! Every time they go and get the mail the walk in and give me the stink eye. I get so much mail! It's wonderful! I am so thankful for all of my friends and family that have shown me so much support. This is the hardest thing I have ever done and with out all of you it wouldn't be possible.

Have a great week!

Hermana Riedelbach

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Milagros (Miracles)


This week has been full of miracles! After I emailed you last week we were walking to the BYU Dinosaur Museum and had just crossed the street from Brigham's Landing and we heard a huge crash. I didn't think much about it until we walked down the street and saw a car completely flipped over and on the side of the road we saw a smashed up van, a sobbing woman, and a baby. We didn't know what to do, but we ran over to see if everything was ok and what we could do to help. One of the Hermana's asked the woman if she would like a blessing and she said she would. The Elder's took her into the parking lot and gave her a blessing. We weren't even close by when it was happening, but the Spirit was so strong. I know that we were there at that moment for that reason. We had the perfect timing as we didn't witness the crash but we were able to help with what was going on. Everyone ended up walking away, including the 83 year old man who was in the car that flipped. God is so good.

I got the best package from the Brigance's last week. Reading those letters and looking at the drawings from those little cousins of mine made me sob. (The first time up to that point!) I was having a rough day and it made everything worth it. I am so thankful for all of the mail I have received. They truly are little miracles.

On Sunday we said goodbye to our first friends here. They helped us out with so much! Here's a picture of us! Funny story, Elder Delgado (the one standing next to me) put his arm around me when we went to go take the picture and everyone in the whole zone saw and then he immediately asked wait...I am allowed to do that and everyone yelled no and then kept making fun of him for putting the moves on an Hermana. supper awkward.

I had the best day on Monday! Here is my journal entry:

Today was the most incredible day I have had so far. We had TRC tonight ( where we teach members in spanish). oh my goodness. It was the most spiritual experience I have ever had here. We taught Hermano Juan Carlos, our new "investigator" (Our teacher Hermano Whittaker). He is the most depressed soul. I was so immediately saddened by him when he opened the door. But oh my. The spirit was so strong in that lesson. We tried to get him to pray for us so Hermana Zimmerman prayed first and then we asked him if he would pray for us. He said "no," and then pointing at me "will you pray for me?" i freaked out. I am so terrified of praying in front of people, especially in Spanish. I stared at Hermana Zimmerman in pure horror. I didn't know what to do. I froze and then he said " How can I have faith if she doesn't have enough faith to pray for me?" I HAD to pray then. I mustered up all of the faith I had and said the most powerful 2 sentence prayer of my life, in Spanish.

The spirit was so strong in that moment. My Heavenly Father helped me so much! The gift of tounges is real. In TRC we taught Hermana Applegate. She asked us why we decided to serve missions. While telling our stories Hermana Zimmerman and I lost it. We were sobbing. The spirt was so strong while I was telling my story and every doubt I had about deciding to serve a mission vanished. I know without a doubt this is what I am supposed to be doing.

Monday was truly a great day!

This morning we had the opportunity to go and participate in sealings in the temple. It was so wonderful. It made me so grateful that you and dad made that decision to be sealed together. I couldn't help but think of my future family and how I want an eternal family just like ours. The Gospel is so wonderful! I am so grateful to have been born into that covenant and know that our family is eternal. Last night we had a wonderful devotional from Elder Aidukaitus. He talked a lot about our destination at the end of this life and to choose where we want to end up. He challenged us to choose which kingdom we want to go to and then to write it as big as we can in our journals. He said after we choose which kingdom we want to end up in our decisions in life become a lot easier because every decision we make should lead us to the kingdom we choose. Just some things to think about :) Now go read D & C 76 and decide!

The first picture contains all our our books they gave us on the first day.
The second one is our district! We are BFF's. Lauren Miner knows one of the Hermana's(:
The third is after our first lesson in Spanish...
4th my companion and I
5th us with another district
6th my companion and I
7th us singing in the Tuesday devo choir
8th 8 hours is not enough sleep. I often look like this in the morning....hahahahahaha

Love you all!
Hermana Elise Riedelbach

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Week 1 (MTC) Better Than Disneyland!

Week 1 (MTC)

It's been 1 week since we dropped Elise off at the MTC.  We have received a couple of letters and emails in that time.  We are so happy that she is loving every minute of her experience.  She is such a great example and inspiration to us.  We love her, and miss her but, we know she is doing the work of the Lord.  Below is her first letter detailing her first week at the MTC!

Better Than Disneyland!

I have officially finished my first week at the MTC! It's been quite a roller coaster! I just want to say thank you to everyone who sent me mail while I was here! I will do my best to get letters to everyone today.

After I got dropped off we picked up our books and headed right to the West Campus. All of the west campus is Spanish speaking our teacher calls it little Mexico! It's so great to be around so many Spanish speakers. We had our first class that night and it was COMPLETELY in Spanish....WHAAT? I didn't understand anything except for Hola. It was quite the adventure. My teacher, Hermano Whittaker, is sooo patient with me and helps me a ton. My companion is Hermana Zimmerman she is the bomb at Spanish.. She helps me a ton! My district is all Hermanas and we are all going to Villahermosa! We are already the best of friends and have some FUNNY stories..

Thursday- We had our first gym day, it's probably my favorite part of the day. We spend most of the day in our classroom. We have 6 hours of class everyday, 1 hour of personal study, 2 hours of language study and an hour or two of additional study. It's A LOT of studying, but it's so good! Gym is really the only time we go outside. I usually play speed (I whoop tush at it. it's great.) or 4 square. It's a ton of fun. Our zone has 5 districts in it, and we are all really close. We have so much fun. Our branch presidency is bomb. They help us so much.

Friday- This day was SOOOO rough. We had to teach our first lesson in Spanish. It was horrible. I forgot everything, including my name...ahhh. My companion had to introduce me. I had no idea what was going on. I had to read my prayer out a book and my companion had to whisper words to me. Worst experience EVER.

Saturday-I was determined to do better at the lesson. I studied and prayed so HARD. During lunch some of the Elders were talking to us and told us not to worry about what we were teaching just to make sure our 'investigator' knew we loved her. It worked. Our lesson went so well and I understood what was going on. We just talked to her and got to know her better. It was so good, she asked me questions and I totally knew what she asked me. After it was over we went to our classroom and knelt down and thanked our Heavenly Father. We couldn't have done it without him! We taught in the afternoon and at class that night I understood everything he was teaching us. It was amazing. It was also the funniest night. We laughed so much that my abs hurt the next day. Hermano Whittaker asked me to pretend to be Samanta ( our investigator) and he was asking me what my boyfriend was like. I had no idea what to say, and the next thing I know muy caliente came out of my mouth. Hermano Whittaker's face was priceless. Everyone busted up laughing and my companion turned bright red and looked at me like I can't believe she's MY companion. We couldn't stop laughing. SUPER EMBARRASSING. (muy caliente means very spicy. I thought it meant hot...) then we were doing our book work and I had a question about a sentence that said My teacher is very boring. so I asked Hermano W and he was saying that sentence in spanish and it sounded like a burrito boring in spanish= aburrido. So I looked at him and said "a burrito?" and he couldn't stop laughing. It was soooo 
funny! It's hard to get him to laugh and he couldn't stop. It was HYSTERICAL.

Sunday- It was good. We joined the MTC choir, so fun!

Monday- We had a service assignment to clean our chapel it was fun. We taught Samanta again. She went to church and I remembered spanish!!! WHOO. It was another great lesson!

Tuesday- Our district gets distracted a lot and we decided to make a new goal and be better about it. Our studying was so good. In the middle of personal study Hermana Weaver gets up to go to the bathroom. All of the sudden she comes running into our classroom yelling "Ayuda me! Ayuda me! Ayuda me! (Help me! Help me! Help me!) the toilet is over flowing!" Hermana Zimmerman jumps up and runs into the bathroom puts her foot on the tub and grabs the plunger and starts plunging. In our classroom I can hear a huge gush of water spill out and start pouring out of the bathroom and then I hear " Ayuda me Elders! Ayuda me!" then a Teacher comes running in and stops the toilet. Water is everywhere. Hermana weaver didn't even go to the bathroom (thank goodness) she just flushed the toilet and the water wouldn't stop. It was so funny! We made it rain in the classroom downstairs. WE are STILL laughing about it. L. Tom Perry came that night to Devo at the main campus. We got front row in the choir and it was so cool. I think he's my new favorite. He skipped up to the pulpit. He was so funny and enthusiastic (that's his favorite word.) I learned a lot. God is sooo good!

This morning we got to go to the temple. We did an endownment session and it was so good. We ate breakfast in the temple cafeteria.. IT was SOOO good. I can't wait to go back next week. After this I think we are going to go do our laundry, write letters, go get a jamba juice (don't get any ideas.) study and then we have class at 6. I am so excited.

This place is literally the happiest place on earth. Everyone is so focused on the same things and we don't have any distractions. It's so awesome. I am not going to lie. It's so hard. I don't get spanish, but I am working my best on it. I make a fool out of myself. But it's OK because the Lord is helping me. I have to work a lot harder at the language than the rest of my district and it's so frustrating! Everyone is so patient with me and the help me and encourage me. I love it here. I will be sad to see it go. I can feel the spirit so strong everyday. I know this is where I am supposed to be. My testimony has grown so much over the past few days. I can't even believe it. Sometimes is gets frustrating always having someone with you. and being with the same 6 girls 24/7 is so annoying at times. and then I realize I am thinking to much about myself and not about my purpose.

I love you all! I have sent out a bunch of letters and hope to send out a lot more today! Thank you so much for the packages and the letters. I have the most mail out of my district so far so keep 'em coming!! Hahaha.

Hermana Riedelbach :)

p.s. I can't get the card reader to work right now. so I'll send pictures next week!